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SoxProspects News

July 14, 2021 at 12:00 PM

Minor Notes: Draft and Futures Game recap; DSL season begins

Here are this week's minor league notes:
  • With the MLB Draft now in the rearview mirror, fans can learn about the system's newest prospects on the SoxProspects.com News Page as well as the Draft History page. In-depth reports have been written on the picks in the first 10 rounds, including Marcelo Mayer and Jud Fabian, as well as higher-level overviews of the picks in rounds 11-15 and 16-20. To see how each picked ranked with the national publications, check out our Rankings post. 
  • SoxProspects.com Editor-in-Chief Mike Andrews has all the details on the Draft Signing Period which runs through August 1. Also included in the post is a link to his initial projections on who will or will not sign. At first glance the longest odds to sign looks to be 15th rounder Payton Green
  • Chris and Ian recorded a podcast on Sunday night recapping the Mayer pick while discussing where he ranks in the system. Between Mayer, Triston Casas, and Jarren Duran, opinion on who is the system's number one prospect depends on what you value the most in a player. 
  • Sunday was also the All-Star Futures Game with Brayan Bello (pictured, above) and Jeter Downs representing the American League. Both players saw game action, with Downs lacing one of the hardest-hit balls of the game. 
  • Monday marked the first game of the season for the Dominican Summer League. The Red Sox are fielding two teams in the DSL this season, and full rosters can be found on our Team Rosters page. The three top prospects playing there this season are Miguel Bleis (35), Luis Perales (45), and Juan Chacon (55). 
  • Monday was also the Red Sox system debut for Connor Seabold. Seabold missed the first two months of the season with right elbow inflammation. He struck out seven and allowed two runs over 2 2/3 innings on a rehab assignment in the FCL. 
  • While Seabold's rehab appearance is big news, he will be overshadowed in Fort Myers by Thursday when Chris Sale is scheduled to throw two innings for the FCL Red Sox.
  • Lost in all the other news over the last week was a big chain of promotions at each level. Jose Adames was promoted to Worcester, Alex Scherff moved up to Portland, and Jaxx Groshans, Brandon Walter, and Cody Scroggins all made their way up to Greenville. Adames has been hitting 100 on the radar gun and has limited opponents to just five runs in 21 1/3 innings. 
  • With the promotions also came a big wave of releases. The most notable name to be released was Bobby Poyner, along with Jesus Marrero, Robinson Montero, Beiker Pineda, Wilker Vargas, and Irvin Villarroel. The Red Sox also voided the contract of Jesus Lopez and placed Kawan Silva on the Restricted List.
  • Roniel Raudes was activated off the Restricted List by the FCL Red Sox. Raudes had Tommy John surgery in January 2019 and left his winter league team this offseason due to injury after only nine innings. He has not pitched in a minor league game since June 8, 2018. 
  • On the injury front, Graham Hoffman was placed on the 60-day injured list with a right flexor strain, and Caleb Simpson was also placed on the injured list with a right flexor strain.
  • One of the hottest hitters in the system has not appeared in a game since July 7, though there is no word on a potential injury. Nick Yorke started July by hitting .480/.567/.760 in the first six games before missing time. Steve Hewitt of the Boston Herald talked with Salem manager Luke Montz about Yorke's early-season struggles and recent hot streak and what he feels is different. 
  • When the U.S. Olympic baseball roster was announced and Jarren Duran was not on it speculation started swirling that his promotion was imminent. Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic ($) discussed how Duran's improved defense and lower strikeout rate have him on the cusp of the major leagues. 
  • One player who will be on the roster is Casas. Julian McWilliams of the Boston Globe ($) spoke with Casas about what he learned from being around veteran players and coaches during the qualifier event and his goals as a player. 
  • One of the breakout offensive performers this season has been Devlin Granberg, who is hitting .312/.379/.586 in 157 at-bats between Greenville and Portland. Granberg talked with David Laurila in an interview for Fangraphs.com about his approach to hitting, and Granberg shared his thoughts on exit velocity and launch angle.

Players of the Week 7/5-7/11

Ryan Fitzgerald, SS, Portland Sea Dogs
6 G, 19 AB, 8 H, 4 2B, 2 HR, 6 R, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K, 0 SB, .421/.476/.947

The Red Sox signed Fitzgerald (pictured, above) in 2018 out of the American Association, and after a couple solid yet unspectacular years in Greenville and Salem, he has had a great start to the year in Portland. This week raised his total line to .266/.355/.511, and he has played all around the field. Most of his time has come at shortstop though he has also played second base, third base, and center field. He was named the 2019 Red Sox Minor League Defensive Player of the Year and has only increased his defensive versatility since then. He has been one of the most valuable players on the second place Sea Dogs. 

Chih-Jung Liu, RHP, Salem Red Sox
1 G, 0-0, 5 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 2 K

Liu had a strong showing this spring in extended spring training, and after one outing in the FCL, he was promoted to Salem. In his Salem debut, he tossed five shutout innings while allowing just two hits. The 22-year-old did not have the same success in his second Salem start, but the system's 37th ranked prospect will be an interesting arm to follow for the rest of the season as he has previously run his fastball up to 98 mph with a wide-ranging pitch mix.

Photo Credit: Brayan Bello and Ryan Fitzgerald by Kelly O'Connor